This is picnic season. Pack up your cooler with all your favorite sandwiches, wraps, salads, and bowls or do a grab and go and head for the Garden State. We’ve rounded up eight great destinations that you should know about. They are convenient to the city and you can even consider some mass transit options.Check each web site for more information including how to get there. The good news for visitors is that New Jersey has just made all of their State Parks free for the summer months although other individual park fees remain in place, such as camping, interpretive programs, and mobile sport fishing permits. This is go time!
Liberty State Park (Jersey City)The park is an easy trip from the city. It features an expansive walkway with stellar views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the NYC skyline. Picnic areas are numerous and accessible. It’s also a great spot for biking, jogging, and birding.
Passaic River Falls (Patterson) This National Historical Park has impressive 77-foot falls that flow into a chasm 300 feet wide. Alexander Hamilton founded the city of Paterson in 1792 to create a hydropower system to encourage manufacturing. They are one of the highest falls this side of the Mississippi River.
Sandy Hook at Gateway National Recreation Area (Atlantic Highlands) The sprawling recreation area offers ocean and bay beaches, biking, hiking, camping and a fascinating history.
Cheesequake State Park (Matawan) The park has a unique geographical location. It has open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, a white cedar swamp, Pine Barrens and a northeastern hardwood forest. Hiking, birding, and beaching are features of Cheesequake.
Round Valley State Park (Lebanon) – The picturesque 2,000 acres offers opportunities for beaching, fishing, boating, hiking and camping. It’s fun in the sun for family groups and many more.
Duke Farms (Hillsborough) Visit over 1000 acres to explore native species, efforts to maintain sustainability and the area’s natural beauty. It’s great for walking and biking. You can also eat at their café or shop at their their seasonal farm market. On site is the indoor Orchid Range with a profusion of beautiful flowers. American entrepreneur, James Buchanan Duke, established the estate. The property is now managed by the Doris Duke Foundation. Doris was James B. Duke’s only daughter and the second owner of the property.
Washington’s Crossing State Park (Titusville) History lovers will find this to be a great destination. The park has more than 500 acres dedicated to American History and nature for all. The park maintains the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware River. It was this 1776 crossing that changed the outcome of the Revolutionary War.
Delaware and Raritan State Park Trail (Various Access Points) The Delaware and Raritan Rivers are major waterways and there is an extensive canal system that runs through New Jersey that can be visited for long lovely strolls on the well-maintained walkway. The 77-mile trail traverses three counties.
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